flitter / by Christina Rosalie

I spend much of the day curled like a cat, now, dozing. My dreams are surreal and technicolored and sexy. My stomach is in a constant state of upheaval, the word nausea hardly encompasses the scope of queasy that I feel. It is a perpetual all day thing, indigestion, bloating, every single food suspect.

I turn my nose up at foods I have always loved; I become obsessed with certain food and then suddenly, irrationally, cannot stand them. The refrigerator is a dangerous place. I can hardly stand to open the door. My sense of smell has gone from acute, which it has always been, to hyper sensitive. I can smell peanut butter across the room. Garlic makes me dry heave.

It’s a weird state to have suddenly slipped into. Early pregnancy has forced rest upon me. It’s been a long time since I sat in a lawn chair on the grass and did nothing. I sit and watch clouds get tangled at the horizon; swallowtails land on the yellow roses by the door; my small boy rides his bike pell-mell up and down the driveway, skidding to a stop on purpose. He has attached a pinwheel to his handle bars, and it spins brilliantly. His face is a smudge of wild strawberries and dirt: a recipe for little boy glee. Next week he’s going to summer camp at his preschool for four half days and I’m holding my breath, wondering what it will be like.

Of course, I start to think about him there, away from me, and my heart feels like a bungee jumper, mid air before the cord catches at the bottom of the fall.

He is at this lovely stage right now where, on a good day, he’s the sweetest most sensitive little guy in the world. He picks me flowers. Sometimes when we’re walking he’ll stop dead in his tracks and gasp, “Oh look at that flower, its just so beautiful!” He notices sunsets, and birds darting though the sky like bright flecks of paint.

In the book Lyle Lyle Crocodile, he gets genuine big tears in his eyes when we get to the page where Lyle gets locked in the zoo. And at the playground when a smaller boy was crying, he stood near by, a worried look on his face, until the boy was comforted.

I so hope that this tenderness doesn’t get wiped away by the big-boyness he’s sure to acquire in the first few days of spending so much time with other, older kids. Around big boys he walks taller, his little shoulders thrown back, and laughs at jokes he doesn’t understand. He’s growing up, and it makes me feel dizzy.

The other day he asked, “Who will snuggle me at preschool?”

“Your teacher will,” I said hopefully, and he smiled, convinced.

But will they?

And what about me, when this second little one enters the world? Will my heart really expand to love the both of them? Somehow I can hardly believe it, even as I feel fiercely protective of my tender belly, where this unexpected miraculous handful of cells is multiplying and growing: tiny arm buds, eyelids, it’s heartbeat like the fluttering wings of birds.